If you are a parent, you know that your own children are those who are most skilled at knowing and pushing all your buttons. Since we are generally in contact with our children more than anyone else, they become very knowledgeable about who we are and what makes us tick. They also know what to do when they are seeking a reaction from us. Here is what you can do to remain cool, calm and collected when your children push your buttons and are waiting for a reaction.

Count to Ten

This is not for the sake of your child, nor is it a countdown to consequences for him (or her). This is a countdown for you. Sometimes when our children are being immature, which is normal for their age and to be expected, we simply need time to refocus and put things into perspective. Stop, count to ten, and remember that your child is only acting this way because they are indeed a child.

Talk It Out

The best way to resolve a conflict between you and your child is not to explode in anger, but to talk it out with them. Sit down and discuss what is really going on. Talk to them calmly and aim to find out why they feel the need to push your buttons in this manner.

Do a Relationship Checklist

Often when a child is intentionally pushing your buttons, there is a reason he wants your attention. It is possible that you have not been spending enough time together, and he is looking for a way to connect? Does he feel like at this point, any attention is preferable over none? Jog your memory and see if you can find any reason why your child may be acting out in this way towards you.

Remember How It Felt to Be That Age

Sometimes pushing buttons is simply the normal actions of an immature child. Children do not have the life experience we do, and often struggle to find efficient ways to communicate with others. Take a moment and remember how it felt to be that age. What made you feel good? What made you feel sad? What made you feel connected to your parents, and disconnected? Remember what it was like to be a child, and this will surely lead you to a place of greater understanding and patience with your own.

Think about Life in 20 Years

When all other methods fail to help you feel calm, think about the future. Picture you and your child 20 years from now. What will you fondly remember about these days? What will make you wince with regret? This can be an effective way to quickly put things back into perspective. Times passes so quickly and we only live each day once. Think about how special these days are as a family, and you are certain to emerge as a more caring parent who is slow to react in a negative manner.

Children can surely push our buttons, but our time as parents of non-adult children is relatively short. If you can keep this in mind, and compile a list of distraction strategies for your own benefit, it will help you get through the moments that you feel you are close to losing your cool. When your child is saying and doing everything to get a reaction out of you, maintain your composure and stay cool, calm and collected.

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  We serve St. Louis, Atlanta and Florida. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

Problem solving and conflict resolution for children should begin being taught early on. If you’re a parent of multiple children in your family this becomes apparent as it won’t take siblings long at all to become engaged in some type of ‘sharing’ violation with one another. Children of a family with other children almost immediately are engaged in a social type of activity albeit only with their brothers and sisters early on. Conflicts and resolving those conflicts soon become part of their day.

At an early age children are in more of a self exploration and self discovery mode. From there and from a socialization progression you will see kids playing together but not as a coordinated group. In other words, the next progression is to see a group of children ‘geographically’ playing together but they all still have their own toys and objects. The next step of the socialization of play is around 2 to 3 years old where you’ll see kids begin activities that begin to require interaction and subsequently problem solving and conflict resolution.

As parents and caregivers, you have the opportunity to actually teach conflict resolution and problem solving techniques and skills rather than just solving them. As a part of conflict resolution it’s important to get children to express themselves and their feelings and get past their initial emotional reaction. This will initially take some time and practice, and you should take the time to get back to, and discuss the conflict that occurred at a later time or date after the emotions have calmed sufficiently down. Discussing previous conflicts and how they could have reacted and handled them is a key in their emotional growth.

As all children do early on, before they have the ability to concisely express themselves, they learn that many times crying and even screaming resolves their conflict because as parents we try to assuage the behavior by getting them what they want or need. Understanding and teaching conflict resolution to your children is an integral part of their social development and growth. Without these tools, children will grow into adults resolving problems the only way the have ever known how to do – with emotional behavior, and sadly, many times with force.

There is a tremendous amount of excellent information on these techniques and teaching them to children of all ages. Make them part of your day, and a part of your child’s life and they will grow in depth and confidence.

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  We serve St. Louis, Atlanta and Florida. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660